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The Annunciation
by Marpa (a.k.a. Drokmi Lotsawa, "The Translator")

						Tibet, 11th Century

a man born from a flower in space a man
riding a colt foaled from a sterile mare
his reins are formed from the hair of a tortoise

	a rabbit's horn for a dagger he
	strikes down his enemies

a man without lips who is speaking who
sees without eyes a man without ears
who listens who runs without legs

the sun & the moon dance
& blow trumpets

a young child touches
the wheel-of-the-law

	which turns over


: secret of the body
	    : of the word
		: of the heart of the gods

the inner breath is the horse of the bodhisattvas

whipped by compassion it
rears it drives the old yak
from the path of madness

-- Translations and Variations by Jerome Rothenberg


Translation adapted from J. Bascot, La vie de Marpa, 1937. Marpa (eleventh century, A.D.) was third guru in the line founded by Tilo in India and successor to his own teacher, Naropa. He was the first Tibetan master of the Kargyudpa sect and the instructor of the more famous Milarepa. Marpa traveled a good deal and translated half a hundred works from Sanskrit, which earned for him his nickname of The Translator.

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